Friday, October 23, 2009


Wednesday and Thursday night we ate out enjoying two very good meals, however the places could not have been more of a contrast if we had planed long in advance. The meals were satisfying, and more, and in both instances as advertised, but the price point, ambiance and decor were miles apart.
For my Birthday I received a post card from the "Hitching Post" inviting me to a free dinner during the month of October( maximum value $7.95). Being one, never to turn down FREE, Marilyn and I went to the "store" in Hyde Park, corner of Edwards and Madison Roads. The "Hitching Post", as most of you know, operates stores all throughout the area. They specialize in fried chicken but have other items on the menu. The featured chicken dinner is a breast, wing and leg plus 2 sides for $7.95. Marilyn and I like the wing. leg and thigh and so we substituted and found to our delight the price dropped to $6.95. We both had mini potato pancakes while I had apple sauce and she very good Cole slaw. The food came hot and and as ordered and the chicken was crisp and juicy. A satisfying dinner at a bargain price.
The next night we went, with a good friend, to "Boca" 3200 Madison Road, Cincinnati 45208, 513-542-2002. Our friend Richard Brown is the General Manager and he had spoken at my class on Tuesday, so it was payback time plus our friend had chosen this spot several days before. Richard has had a career in Cincinnati serving in top positions at several of the best and most famous establishments in our dinning scene. With his personal attention and touch we had an outstanding and fairly expensive evening. The Bombay is $10, just barely on the very high side of upscale restaurants here at "Boca" the first courses and entrees are in the range of their high end competitors. Marilyn had Flounder served on a bed of spinach and wiped potato's and prepared and seasoned perfectly. I chose an "off menu" item, of which I had heard, Linguine and caramelized Cauliflower, outstanding. I started with a "Boca" Cesar, which is Grilled Romaine, dressed, while warm, with a pungent Cesar dressing and presented with shaved Parmesan. The table shared a room temperature Creme Brule. The kitchen added a demitasse size portion of a cauliflower bisk, creamy but very light. We escaped at around $55 each, including tip. Marilyn, as you know, doesn't drink and that evening I passed on wine. Service and decor were both as expected.
Good spot when one wants to treat themselves or others.
We're off to New York City, in the morning, so the next report will include happenings in that part of the world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This is the 200th posting I have make since I started over 2 years ago. Many follow the same pattern or lament, but that is the fate of a "foodie", who indulges and reports his food, drink and places he goes, as he "eat's out".
The week just passed, unfortunately was no exception. I ate out too often, consumed too many calories, too much Sodium and the weight and waistline both showed the result.
Monday, Oct 12 was lunch at "Otto's", 500 Main St in Covington. Paul Weckman, the owner has enlarged his menu and the response has been positive, all tables were full and guest were waiting. I had a delicious Turkey Rubin and a side of fresh fruit, a bow to healthy living. At dinner, with several others, we went to "Bonefish Grill", Madison Rd and Edwards, in Cincinnati. "Bonefish" had sent a gift card for my Birthday, the week before, covering an order of "bang-bang shrimp" as an appetizer. That was enough to get in the "hook". Along with the appetizer, which was shared with all I had an order of fried fresh Oysters( exceedingly sweet), a house salad, with Danish Blue Cheese and some of Marilyn's Tilapia. Unfortunately I also had a scoop of Graeter's Ice Cream. By the way, I think the house salad, at "Bonefish" is one of the best accompanying salads in the city.
Tuesday we were taken for dinner to Nicola's, 1420 Sycamore St. Cincinnati, for a Birthday celebration. "Nicola's" is excellent, but expensive, and I had offered to handle the "bar bill" so the evening might be within reason for my host. Both that night, and the previous, I started with Bombay, as is my usual custom. At "Nicola's" I had the same house salad, with the excellent oil and balsamic, I had been served on the last visit when we had the "special" in the bar. This was followed by Vermicelle with Maine lobster and Cauliflower, a superb dish. For desert we shared Panacate topped with Chocolate Ganache, hardly rich.
Wednesday a retirement group meet at "Cumin" Erie Ave. in East Hyde Park. The soup de jour was a potato basil bisk, nicely flavored and not too heavy. I followed with a "hot dog" with several Indian sauce, for me a poor choice, even though I love "hot-dogs". This was accompanied by a marinated fresh vegetable salad, which I liked more than the "hot-dog" .My mind was not "open" as the "hot-dog" is priced at $9.95. That evening, before a CCM concert, we had a light dinner at "Tink's Cafe", 3410 Telford, Clifton. I had not been to "Tink's" in well over a year and found it a fine place to grab something either before or after a show, live or on celluloid. I chose a Tempura Shrimp "Po'Boy" with sauce and Mango chutney and Bay fries. The round potato slices were done exactly as ordered, extra crispy, and are accompanied with a side of catsup.
Thursday I met a fellow CSO Board member at "Via Vite", 520 Vine St. on Fountain Square. For lunch I chose Linguine con Vogele(clams). I was disappointed as I believe the clams were canned and the dish was overly salty. That night we were invited to a cousin's Birthday Diner and though I don't report on private parties I must mention the the menu, veal, was interesting and the home made icebox cake worth two servings.
Friday was a business lunch at "Song Long Restaurant", 1737 Section Rd., Roselawn. "Song Long" remains as it has been for many years, reasonable and reliable, even though the lovely sisters have gone. I usually get the chicken chow mien, which is made with real pieces of chicken, both dark and white, and I ask that it include extra bean sprouts. That evening was an Anniversary party for friends and a group of us went to the "Precinct","dutch treat". The "Precinct" , Del;ta Ave and Columbia Parkway, is our neighborhood steak house and we have been going, half a dozen times a year since it opened. Marilyn and I usually split a steak, that night it was the bone-in Rib eye, and baked potato while each have our own salad. Sometimes I feel I should have two Bombay's to make up for Marilyn's abstinence. If I didn't think the "Precinct" was good and enjoyable I find another place for steak, as there are many in the city.
Last night, Saturday, we joined another couple at the "China Gourmet" 3340 Erie Ave, Cincinnati. All four of us consider the "China Gourmet" a place for seafood, not standard Chinese fare. Therefore, after the usual libation, I had their special Oysters, expensive at $9 for four and Marilyn and I split a pan fried Walleye ($31). The food was very good and the service likewise, but I believe the "price point" for Cincinnati is on the high side.
Tonight it's home cooking or lettuce leaves and lemon juice, sodium vamoose.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eight Decades

WARNING: This posting is not about Restaurants or Food, only memories of an Ancient

This week, around 3 in the afternoon I was driving by "Summit", a private school in Hyde Park. The first thing I noticed was a pair of uniformed city Police Officers directing traffic. When I passed the long driveway I saw that vans and cars were three abreast as parents inched forward to pick up their children. I could help think of how things had changed.
I was born at the time of the "Crash", 1929, and grew up in the 1930's and 40's. Families had at most one car and the great, great majority of children went to "public" neighborhood schools. There were no public Kindergarten's and so we all started in the 1st grade and were in that school thru the 6th, unless our parents changed locations or the "School Board" changed the boundries. The first week of school Mothers, most of whom were stay at home homemakers, would walk their new "student", age 5 on up, to the school but after that they join the other school mates in the journey. We all walked to and from regardless of grade, weather or distance.
If a family had a car it was all most always reserved for the Father, who was the main "bread winner". The 1930's, of course, were the years of the "Great Depression", and it's aftermath, and so earning a living and having an income was the prime objective. The children revolved around the parents, not the other way around. No comment on which is better. "Helicopters", either mechanical or parental were not in the vocabulary.
I went off to an 8 week, overnight, Boys camp at age 10. Eight hundered miles away and accessible only by train or a 3 day drive, from my home. There were about 120 of us campers and the counselors were mature men, probably school teachers who had the summer off and need the money to supplement there income. The only medications, I ever saw were dispensed by the full time Doctor or Nurse, who ran the infirmary and were used for obvious illness. Now the same camp has approximately 230 Boys and the cabin staff over 25 years old, can probably be counted on one hand. Medications are passed our at meal time and there is hardly a table that does not have at least one camper as a recipient. The meds cover everything from Allergies to Mood changers. I again don't know who were better adjusted.
I have not gone into electronic or mechanical changes or diet and entrainment but in 80 years progress has come in all kinds of fields, including medically, which is probably why I am here to write some of my thoughts. Hope my "pace-maker" battery stays fresh.
By the way, for our children, 1960's, and grandchildren, 1990's and 2000's they are in the "modern" Generation, and we probably are being dragged in also.